Skip to main content

The unforced rhythm of grace

There are lots of invitations that come our way. We get invited to birthday parties, sometimes celebrating huge milestones in one's life. We receive invitations to social events such as the grand opening of an art gallery, new theater production, or movie premiers. We are encouraged to attend small events that honor someone who has done a great job, or larger ones that celebrate their heroic efforts. Invitations some in all shapes and sizes, for small and big events, celebrating great and small achievements. One invitation rises above all the rest - the one that invites us to recover our lives.

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28 MSG
I get tired at times, almost 'over-tired', making it harder to get any rest for my weary body and worn out 'thinker'. I have a hard time 'shutting down' when I have been running at break-neck speed all the day long. I have accomplished much, but there is much more I'd like to accomplish, making it hard for me to actually 'turn off' the day. I can honestly say there have also been times when I am just plain 'worn out' and even 'burned out'. The truth is that all of us reach this point from time to time, but it is what we do at those times that matters. If we continue to drive, drive, drive - we wear out - especially when that 'driving' relates to us trying to 'fix ourselves' in some respect. The 'fixing' isn't all that easy sometimes and we are best to leave it to someone who actually knows how to do the fix right!
Jesus makes an invitation to us that we really should consider - walk with him, work with him, and watch how he 'fixes' lives - ours included! There is no better invitation we could receive, but look at the posture we must assume to fully appreciate all that is included in that invitation. The first this is to get away with him if we want to recover our life - we have to accept the invite. Next, we have to actually take steps with him - walk with him. We cannot move toward an invitation without taking action upon that invitation. We need to get up out of the mully-grubs we find ourselves in and just take some steps in the right direction - toward him. When we do, we find we begin to shed some of the stuff that has been weighing us down, keeping us right there in the thick of the mully-grubs!
Then if that is not enough, Jesus reminds us there will be a little 'labor' in the pursuit. We must work with him - we have to do what it is we can do and then he will come alongside to do the rest. I cannot say this enough - it isn't us 'fixing' ourselves - but we all are asked to take certain steps that are within our 'power' or 'ability' to do. One such action might be to reconcile a relationship by taking the first steps toward reconciliation - actually reaching out to the one we have been at odds with. It might not seem like much, but that little step of 'labor' is all he asks to begin to set in motion big things within our lives - big things that lead to restoration and renewal on so many fronts.
As we begin to walk with him and work with him, it will become apparent how the 'unforced rhythms of grace' actually begin to play out in our lives. I like how Jesus describes grace as an 'unforced rhythm' - reminding us that grace is something given freely on his part and it is 'rhythmic' in nature - repeating the paths of renewal until full and total renewal has occurred within each of us. The rhythmic and unforced passage of grace over and over those worn areas of our lives can actually 'put back' more than what was originally lost - sometimes without us even realizing it has! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…

Hey, friend me!

When we really determine to walk the pathway of a disciple, it will cost us. The pathway is not always traveled by as many of those we call "friends" as we'd like to think. Yet, when we find someone to travel with us in this journey of faith, what a blessing it is! We need each other to understand and fulfill God's calling on our lives. We each compliment the other, challenging and uplifting, learning together what is contained deep in the Word of God.

Keep me safe, O God, I've run for dear life to you. I say to God, "Be my Lord!" Without you, nothing makes sense. And these God-chosen lives all around—what splendid friends they make! (Psalm 16:1-3)

David's words ring true in the hearts of many who engage in this walk of discipleship with Christ - without you, God, absolutely nothing makes sense at all. We can attempt to make sense out of tragedy, loss, or even a success all on our own. Without God, and those he places in our lives as fellow travelers…